Bengaluru back on top of ISL table with 3-0 win over Odisha
Bengaluru: Reigning champions Bengaluru FC are back on top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table with a 3-0 win over Odisha FC at the Sree Kanteerava stadium here on Wednesday.
Goals from Deshorn Brown (23), Rahul Bheke (25) and a penalty from Sunil Chhetri (61) decided the contest.
Bengaluru has 25 points from 14 games, one more than ATK and FC Goa who are second and third respectively with 24 points. However, both have a game in hand over Bengaluru.
Odisha FC remained 4th with 21 points from 14 games but are under threat from Mumbai City, Jamshedpur and Chennaiyin who can climb up to fourth with favourable results.
Carles Cuadrat deployed his Bengaluru side in a 4-3-3 with Deshorn Brown and Udanta Singh flanking captain Sunil Chhetri up front.
Joseph Gombau kept his usual 4-2-3-1 with Aridane Santana leading the line and Xisco Hernandez in the number 10 role.
The match started with Odisha winning a free kick in the 3rd minute. Xisco whipped a wonderful ball into the six-yard box. However, Gaurav Bora headed it well over.
Deshorn Brown missed a sitter in the 15th minute. A long ball lobbed towards the right flank was intercepted by Narayan Das. However, his attempted clearance ricocheted off onrushing Udanta Singh into the attacker's path.
Udanta whipped in a low cross perfectly into the path of Deshorn Brown but he scuffed the shot. The ball hit his standing foot and went out for a goal kick.
Brown redeemed himself in the 23rd minute. Dimas Delgado whipped in a free-kick towards the far post. Erik Paartalu rose high and knocked the ball towards goal. It was heading into the back of the net but Deshorn Brown got minimum contact to flick the ball into the bottom right corner.
Bengaluru doubled the lead two minutes alter through Rahul Bheke. Once again, Erik Paartalu was involved.
Bengaluru FC worked a short corner. Dimas Delgado passed the ball to Udanta Singh, who whipped in a cross towards the far post. Erik Paartalu fired a shot with his right foot but it was blocked by Aridane Santana inside Odisha’s six-yard box. The ball ricocheted into the path of Rahul Bheke who turned and fired the ball into the back of the net.
Deshorn Brown missed another chance in the 28th minute as Bengaluru was running riot inside the Odisha half.
In the 33rd minute, Joseph Gombau made a bizarre double change taking off Aridane Santana and Marcos Tebar for Seiminmang Manchong and Diawandou Diagne.
Just before the half time whistle, Martin Guedes missed a golden chance to half the deficit for Odisha. Xisco took an in-swinging corner from the left side. Carlos Delgado flicked it on towards the far pole where Martin Guedes was all alone. Martin had acres of space but his side-footed effort hit the post and bounced out.
The second half started with Bengaluru trying to increase the lead and Odisha hanging on. Deshorn Brown missed another chance in after a solo effort in the 51st minute.
Things got worse for Odisha as Bengaluru were awarded a penalty on the hour mark. Dimas Delgado took a corner from the left side. Erik Paartalu made a run at the near post but was tugged back by Martin Guedes. Paartalu was then pushed onto the ground by Guedes and the referee awarded a penalty.
Captain Sunil Chhetri stepped up and fired the ball into the top left corner with authority. It was Chhetri’s 10th penalty in ISL and he is yet to miss one.
Four minutes later, Odisha keeper Arshdeep Singh made a brilliant save to deny Udanta Singh.
It could have been worse for Odisha as Sunil Chhetri went down inside the box claiming a penalty in the 82nd minute. Referee thought Chhetri dived and booked him. However, replays showed that it was a harsh decision on the Bengaluru captain. There was contact and it should have been a penalty.
Bengaluru were back on winning ways after a disappointing defeat away to Mumbai City on Friday while Odisha’s four game winning streak came to an end.